IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 22, 2018
Mr. Barrasso (for himself, Mr. Whitehouse, Mrs. Capito, and Ms. Heitkamp) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To support carbon dioxide utilization and direct air capture research, to facilitate the permitting and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration projects and carbon dioxide pipelines, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act or the
USE IT Act.
Encouraging projects to reduce emissions
Research, investigation, training, and other activities
Section 103 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7403) is amended—
in subsection (c)(3), in the first sentence of the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking
percursors and inserting
in subsection (g)—
by redesignating paragraphs (1) through (4) as subparagraphs (A) through (D), respectively, and indenting appropriately;
in the undesignated matter following subparagraph (D) (as so redesignated)—
in the second sentence, by striking
The Administrator and inserting the following:
Coordination and avoidance of duplication
in the first sentence, by striking
Nothing and inserting the following:
Effect of subsection
in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) (as so redesignated)—
in the third sentence, by striking
Such program and inserting the following:
The program under this subsection
in the second sentence—
States, institutions of higher education, after
Such strategies and technologies shall be developed and inserting the following:
Such strategies and technologies described in paragraph (1) shall be developed
in the first sentence, by striking
In carrying out and inserting the following:
In carrying out
by adding at the end the following:
Certain carbon dioxide activities
In carrying out paragraph (3)(A) with respect to carbon dioxide, the Administrator shall carry out the activities described in each of subparagraphs (B) and (C).
Direct air capture research
In this subparagraph:
The term Board means the Direct Air Capture Technology Advisory Board established by clause (iii)(I).
The term dilute means a concentration of less than 1 percent by volume.
Direct air capture
The term direct air capture, with respect to a facility, technology, or system, means that the facility, technology, or system uses carbon capture equipment to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air.
The term direct air capture does not include any facility, technology, or system that captures carbon dioxide—
that is deliberately released from a naturally occurring subsurface spring; or
using natural photosynthesis.
The term intellectual property means—
an invention that is patentable under title 35, United States Code; and
any patent on an invention described in item (aa).
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the USE IT Act, the Administrator shall establish a program to provide, and shall provide, financial awards on a competitive basis for direct air capture from media in which the concentration of carbon dioxide is dilute.
In carrying out this clause, the Administrator shall—
subject to subclause (III), develop specific requirements for—
the competition process; and
monitoring and verification procedures for approved projects;
offer financial awards for a project designed—
to capture more than 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year; and
to be deployed at a cost of less than $200 per ton of carbon dioxide captured; and
to the maximum extent practicable, make financial awards to geographically diverse projects, including at least—
1 project in a coastal State; and
1 project in a rural State.
In carrying out subclause (II)(aa), the Board shall—
provide notice of and, for a period of not less than 60 days, an opportunity for public comment on, any draft or proposed version of the requirements described in subclause (II)(aa); and
take into account public comments received in developing the final version of those requirements.
No financial awards may be provided under this clause until the proposal for which the award is sought has been peer reviewed in accordance with such standards for peer review as are established by the Administrator.
Direct air capture technology advisory board
There is established an advisory board to be known as the
Direct Air Capture Technology Advisory Board.
The Board shall be composed of 9 members appointed by the Administrator, who shall provide expertise in—
business management; and
such other disciplines as the Administrator determines to be necessary to achieve the purposes of this subparagraph.
A member of the Board shall serve for a term of 6 years.
A vacancy on the Board—
shall not affect the powers of the Board; and
shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment was made.
Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Board have been appointed, the Board shall hold the initial meeting of the Board.
The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairperson.
A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.
Chairperson and vice chairperson
The Board shall select a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from among the members of the Board.
Each member of the Board may be compensated at not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code, for each day during which the member is engaged in the actual performance of the duties of the Board.
The Board shall advise the Administrator on carrying out the duties of the Administrator under this subparagraph.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall apply to the Board.
As a condition of receiving a financial award under this subparagraph, an applicant shall agree to vest the intellectual property of the applicant derived from the technology in 1 or more entities that are incorporated in the United States.
Reservation of license
The United States—
may reserve a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license, to have practiced for or on behalf of the United States, in connection with any intellectual property described in subclause (I); but
shall not, in the exercise of a license reserved under item (aa), publicly disclose proprietary information relating to the license.
Transfer of title
Title to any intellectual property described in subclause (I) shall not be transferred or passed, except to an entity that is incorporated in the United States, until the expiration of the first patent obtained in connection with the intellectual property.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subparagraph $25,000,000, to remain available until expended.
Termination of authority
The Board and all authority provided under this subparagraph shall terminate on December 31, 2028.
Carbon dioxide utilization research
Definition of carbon dioxide utilization
In this subparagraph, the term carbon dioxide utilization refers to technologies or approaches that lead to the use of carbon dioxide—
through the fixation of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis, such as through the growing of algae or bacteria;
through the chemical conversion of carbon dioxide to a material or chemical compound in which the carbon dioxide is securely stored; or
through the use of carbon dioxide for any other purpose for which a commercial market exists, as determined by the Administrator.
The Administrator shall carry out a research and development program for carbon dioxide utilization to promote technologies that transform carbon dioxide generated by industrial processes into a product of commercial value, or as an input to products of commercial value.
Technical and financial assistance
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the USE IT Act, in carrying out this subsection, the Administrator shall support research and infrastructure activities relating to carbon dioxide utilization by providing technical assistance and financial assistance in accordance with clause (iv).
To be eligible to receive technical assistance and financial assistance under clause (iii), a carbon dioxide utilization project shall—
have access to an emissions stream generated by a stationary source within the United States that is capable of supplying not less than 250 metric tons per day of carbon dioxide for research;
have access to adequate space for a laboratory and equipment for testing small-scale carbon dioxide utilization technologies, with onsite access to larger test bays for scale-up; and
have existing partnerships with institutions of higher education, private companies, States, or other government entities.
In supporting carbon dioxide utilization projects under this paragraph, the Administrator shall collaborate, as appropriate, with the head of any relevant Federal agency, States, the private sector, and institutions of higher education to develop methods and technologies to account for the carbon dioxide emissions avoided by the carbon dioxide utilization projects.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subparagraph $50,000,000, to remain available until expended.
Report on carbon dioxide nonregulatory strategies and technologies
Not less frequently than once every 2 years, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report that describes—
the recipients of assistance under subparagraphs (B) and (C); and
a plan for supporting additional nonregulatory strategies and technologies that could significantly prevent carbon dioxide emissions or reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air, in conjunction with other Federal agencies.
The plan submitted under clause (i) shall include—
a methodology for evaluating and ranking technologies based on the ability of the technologies to cost effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions or carbon dioxide levels in the air; and
a description of any nonair-related environmental or energy considerations regarding the technologies.
Improvement of permitting process for carbon dioxide capture and infrastructure projects
Inclusion of carbon capture infrastructure projects
Section 41001(6) of the FAST Act (42 U.S.C. 4370m(6)) is amended—
in subparagraph (A)—
in the matter preceding clause (i), by inserting
carbon capture, before
renewable or conventional;
in clause (i)(III), by striking
or at the end;
by redesignating clause (ii) as clause (iii); and
by inserting after clause (i) the following:
is covered by a programmatic plan or environmental review developed for the primary purpose of facilitating development of carbon dioxide pipelines; or
by adding at the end the following:
For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term construction of infrastructure for carbon capture includes construction of any facility, technology, or system that captures, utilizes, or sequesters carbon dioxide emissions and carbon dioxide pipelines.
Development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration permitting guidance and regional permitting task force
Development of guidance
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (referred to in this section as the
Chair), in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of the Interior, and the head of any other relevant Federal agency (as determined by the President), shall prepare guidance—
to facilitate reviews associated with the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration projects and carbon dioxide pipelines; and
that identifies current or emerging activities that transform captured carbon dioxide into a product of commercial value, or as an input to products of commercial value.
The guidance under paragraph (1) shall—
address requirements under—
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.);
the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.);
the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.);
the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);
division A of subtitle III of title 54, United States Code (formerly known as the
National Historic Preservation Act);
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.);
the Act of June 8, 1940 (16 U.S.C. 668 et seq.) (commonly known as the
Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act); and
any other Federal law that the Chair determines to be appropriate; and
include guidance to States for the development of programmatic environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) for siting, analyzing, and authorizing carbon dioxide pipeline networks.
The Chair shall—
submit the guidance under paragraph (1) to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and
publish and make publicly available the guidance under paragraph (1).
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Chair shall establish not less than 2 task forces, which shall each cover a different geographical area that faces differing demographic, land use, or geological issues, to identify permitting challenges that permitting authorities and project developers and operators face.
Members and selection
The Chair shall—
develop criteria for the selection of members to each task force; and
select members for each task force in accordance with clause (i) and subparagraph (B).
Each task force—
shall include not less than 1 representative of each of—
the Environmental Protection Agency;
the Department of Energy;
the Department of the Interior;
any other Federal agency the Chair determines to be appropriate;
any State that requests participation in the geographical area covered by the task force;
nongovernmental organizations; and
at the request of a Tribal or local government, may include a representative of—
not less than 1 local government in the geographical area covered by the task force; and
not less than 1 Tribal government in the geographical area covered by the task force.
Each task force shall meet not less than twice each year.
To the maximum extent practicable, the task forces shall meet collectively not less than once each year.
Each task force shall—
inventory existing or potential approaches to facilitate reviews associated with the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration projects and carbon dioxide pipelines;
develop common models for State-level carbon dioxide pipeline regulation and oversight guidelines that can be shared with States in the geographical area covered by the task force;
provide technical assistance to States in the geographical area covered by the task force in implementing regulatory requirements and any models developed under subparagraph (B); and
develop guidance for relevant Federal agencies on how to develop and research technologies that—
can capture carbon dioxide; and
would be able to be deployed within the region covered by the task force, including any projects that have received technical or financial assistance for research under paragraph (6) of section 103(g) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7403(g)).
Each year, each task force shall prepare and submit to the Chair and to the other task forces a report that includes—
any recommendations for improvements in the issuance or administration of Federal permits and other Federal authorizations required under a law described in subsection (a)(2)(A); and
any other nationally relevant information that the task force has collected in carrying out the duties under paragraph (4).
Evaluation and revision
The Chair shall—
evaluate the reports under paragraph (5) and, as necessary, revise the guidance under subsection (a); and
submit to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, and relevant Federal agencies each year any revisions to the guidance under subsection (a) and a report that describes any recommendations for legislation, rules, or revisions to rules that would address the issues identified by the task forces under paragraph (5).